Coffee and the senses


  • Aroma is defined as an odour whilst taste is the sense experienced by the tongue and describes sensations of saltiness, sweetness, sourness or bitterness. Flavour is a combination of both aroma and taste1.
  • A large number of volatile compounds are associated with flavour in coffee, a smaller proportion of which are responsible for coffee aroma5-8.
  • Experts define and describe the aroma and taste of coffee, generating profiles that differ according to type of coffee bean, geographical location, level of roasting and preparation method10,11.
  • Drinking coffee provides a multisensory experience that may be influenced not only by the type of coffee, preparation method and any additions such as milk, sugar and cream, but also by the environment including the drinking vessel14-19.

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